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Re: applying patches

On Tue, Feb 17, 2004 at 03:04:39PM +0200, Radu Spineanu wrote:
> I have to apply a small patch to my xmail package,
> however  
> i ran into different opinions while looking on how
> to do this. 
> Some suggested dbs, others dpatch, others just
> applying the 
> patch dirrectly to the source. 
> I would like xmail to be part of debian ( in case
> someone 
> decides to sponsor it ) so which option is the
> correct way for 
> patching ? 

Whatever works.  <grin>

If you're not expecting many patches, you could go the "direct to source"
route.  It's simple, easy to comprehend, and doesn't require any extra
packaging overhead.

However, at some point you'll probably end up with a bunch of separate
patches which are backports from upstream CVS fixing urgent bugs, unofficial
patches which you thought were a good idea but upstream hates, patches
Debian users have created which haven't made it into an upstream release,
and so on.  Managing these, particularly the ones that are likely to be in
upstream at a later point, becomes a problem.  For that, one of the patch
management systems above, or one of a couple of others I've heard mentioned,
are better ways to go.

As to which one is best, I really can't tell you.  I've never gotten quite
to patch hell (although both PHPWiki and IRM are starting to get there). 
All of the systems available have their advocates and their detractors. 
Perhaps try a couple of them out and see which one makes the most sense to
you?  I assume that they're all half-decent, or nobody would be using them
and they'd have died by now.  From memory, dbs is a fairly different build
system, cdbs even more so, while dpatch has the Unix nature - it does one
thing (patch management in Debian packages) and does it (hopefully) well.

Hmm, now you've got me wondering if I should dig out dpatch and try it out
on PHPWiki.  Onto the TODO list it goes.

- Matt

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